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Hold Position


TearsOfTomorrow
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This technically would belong in Fan Art, but it's a written piece, not visual art, so since most people think "visual arts" when they think of fan art, I figured I'd leave this one out here. Mods please move this if you think Fan Art is a more appropriate sub-section.

That said, please enjoy this short story I have written, which I call

HOLD POSITION

For me, it was never about choosing to join the syndcate. The choice had been made for me before I was even born and, from the moment I first opened my eyes, I was one of them, a devotee to their cause.

This is where you'd probably expect me to tell a heart-breaking, soul-crushing story of the hardships I had to endure in my life, but honestly? It wasn't that bad: I got lucky, I was surrounded by caring family and like-minded people from the start. We worked together, we laughed together, we fought together and yes, at times we cried together too. But it would be unfair to complain about the hard times, it would be meaningless to say that we had it rough.

Because the truth is, in this wretched system of militaristic empires and fascist corporations, everyone has it rough. 

The Grineer and their obsession with destroying everything that doesn't look like them. The Corpus and their greed. You work your whole life to try and carve a niche for yourself and your family, and all you can do is wonder which of the two will come and take it from you first: and then you'll end up food for the Ghouls outside Cetus, or a corporate slave in Fortuna paying off your debts with your organs. So can you really blame us for deciding that, if we had to go down, at least we'd do so guns blazing? Yes, we killed a lot of people too. Yes, we razed and pillaged and stole too. Yes, that probably makes us giant hypocrites. But hey, when you're desperate you don't pay much attention to this kind of stuff: you just do what you have to do in order to feed your family, and you forc yourself to not think about the fact that maybe, just maybe, that guy you gunned down had a family too, and his sole crime was following orders. Yeah, following orders: that's pretty much what I too have been doing my whole life... And that really is the crux of the issue, in't it? We keep oppressing and killing and maiming each other because we were ordered to do so, and meanwhile those who issued those orders go largely unpunished. And all you can really do is force yourself to believe that the one issuing YOUR orders is just a bit less of a psycho, a bit less of a tyrant, a bit less of an uncaring profiteer than the one issuing theirs.

That's why, when I first heard the rumors about the Tenno, the legendary star children, I was overjoyed: if anyone could make this system a better place, that had to be them. Weren't they the ones who had vanquished the undefeatable Sentients, weren't they the ones who had toppled the despotic Orokin? Surely the Grineer or the Corpus or the syndicates that opposed our own would be no match for them, surely they could wipe the slate clean and bring about a new, better life for all of us. In a corner of my mind a part of my just had to ask: why would they ally themselves with us, specifically? What would make us special in their eyes, compared to the other factions? If they really are here to wipe the slate clean, wouldn't that include us too?
But then all of my doubts were laid to rest when, much to our enemies' terror and our own shock, the Tenno did join forces with us: there they were! Doing quests for us, helping us achieve our goals, working alongside us! Our saviors, lowering themselves to being our servants! I could barely believe my eyes: my heart filled with nothing but hope and gratitude, I promised to myself that, should the day come when these divine beings would need our help in return, I would be the first one to provide it.

And thus, when our leaders asked for two volunteers to accompany the Tenno on a mission, I jumped at the occasion: finally I could prove myself, and the pople who loved and supported me, worthy of these gods and their selfless help!
Truth be told, the first time I saw them up close I didn't know what to make of them: even the smallest ones were taller than most of us, they had absolutely perfect bodies but... No faces? And they barely spoke? And when they did it was only to address each other and the mysterious woman directing their operations, not once acknowledging us? It was weird, but then again I never expected them to be like us, nor to consider us their equals. And then I saw them fight: what ferocity, what efficiency, what cold perfection in going for the kill! As the corpses kept piling up around them and their unfamiliar weapons, I realized just how vast the gulf in ability between us and them really was.

So imagine my shock when they spoke to me. The Tenno, the star children, the great heroes, the perfect warriors actually spoke to a lowly footsoldier like me!
They asked me to guard a specific spot, the very same spot where I'm standing right now. I have no idea of the rationale behind it, I have no idea of what kind of plan they have, also because they rushed on ahead immediately afterwards: then again, who could possibly hope to understand the strategies of warriors that powerful? If they asked me to hold this position an cover them as they proceed onwards, they must have a plan. So as long as my body can go, I will do my best to do my part in that plan: isn't that what I've wanted to do my whole life? Change the system I mean, make it a better place: it's painfully obvious that I can't pull it off, but maybe they can, and so I must do what I can do, even if it's just holding this position.

Or die trying, anyway: the enemies keep on coming, bullets are flying anywhere, my own gun is low on ammo. What were they thinking, asking me to do this by myself?
... No, I must not doubt them, I must not falter: clearly they saw something in me, clearly they realized I had potential, that's why they asked me to do this! So I must repay their trust with a great success or, failing that, with my life: and if one day they do succeed in making the system a little less messed up, I hope they'll say my sacrifice played a part in it.

I've lost the count of the times I've been hit. My body is getting heavy. I'm not fighting people who'd take prisoners. I wonder if I did a good enough job? I wonder if the Tenno managed to complete their plan? I wish I had at least given them my name, and asked theirs. What are they doing right now? Are they wondering how I'm doing? Did their plan work out, and did I manage to at least contribute to it? If only...

MEANWHILE, THE TENNO

"Uh, weird. Why didn't my gun reload when I pressed x?"

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